Theodor Larsson (1880-1937) was a Swedish songwriter and performer. As a bondkomiker (rustic comedian), his professional name was Skånska Lasse (Skåning Lasse). In America his songs were recorded by Ragnar Hasselgren, Lydia Hedberg, Bert Leman, Hjalmar Peterson and Charles G. Widdén.
There is one song above all others for which Larsson is remembered, "Bonnjazz" (Country dance), which he recorded in 1924. The song, one of the best-known works in Swedish popular music, has gone by many names, including "Jazz på landet" (Dance in the country) and "Johan på snippen" (Johan on the snippet of land).
Tracks 01-10: Skånska Lasse
Tracks 13-49: various artists
SELECTED LYRICS BY SKÅNSKA LASSE
— See the PDF files for Swedish texts —
De Rysliga Bolsjevikerna
Johan På Snippen
Johan På Snippens Ford
Josefin Med Symaskin
Nicklason Från Skrållabo
Tjolanta Karlssons Fästemän
ADAPTATIONS OF SKÅNSKA LASSE SONGS
Johan På Snibbens Dammsugsmaskin
Theodor Larsson and Calle Lindström recorded "Sven Svenssons Sven" in 1914. The lyricist is unknown. The song “Kärlek Och Handklaver”, written by Ejnar Östlund, was recorded by Larsson in 1916 and by Gustav Fonandern in 1919 and 1924. Track 48 was produced for the Cultural Heritage of Östergötland website.
RUSTIC HUMOR LP 1971
The stage name of Theodor Larsson, Skånska Lasse, was a somewhat misleading one. Although a native of Skåne — he was born in Gylle (outside of Trelleborg) in 1880 — he lived most of his life in Östergötland, first in Linkoping and then in Mjölby. This province was, incidentally, where many of the nationally famous rustic comedians originated.
Skånska Lasse accompanied himself on the accordion. A serious-looking man on stage, he stood up straight and delivered his songs without much fanfare. For the most part he wore the rustic comedian outfit that Jödde i Göljaryd had established: long coat, wrinkled light-colored trousers, flowered vest with a long scarf tucked in so that its lower end stuck out from under the vest, and on his head a bowler.
Skånska Lasse wrote his own lyrics, sometimes setting them to original melodies but just as often to music one recognizes from 19th century barrel organ songs. His lyrics for the unexpectedly successful “Bonnjazz or “Johan På Snippen” were written at Ernst Rolf's suggestion, after the entertainer had acquired the rights to a melody composed by an engineer in Örebro. He subsequently contributed the song “Motorcykeln” to Rolf’s repertoire.
Like many rustic comedians Skånska Lasse enjoyed depicting the confrontation between country folk and modern technology — whether it be a train, radio or motorized transport. His songs were sometimes constructed in the familiar pattern of a list. Compare his “Tjolanta Karlssons Fästemän” with Povel Ramel’s “Den Sista Jäntan”, both of which date back to the same song tradition.
An active member of the Social Democratic Party, Skånska Lasse was one of the Folk Parks’ most popular artists and remained in favor with its booking agents and the public even after rustic humor was mostly viewed as an anachronism. He died in Mjölby in 1937.
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